How to Be a BlogHer Ghost

I went to BlogHer and had a great time! I know there are mixed rumblings about this year but I thought it was great. People talked about sessions! Made friends! No one hit me in the face with a giant swag tote bag! I went with no plans, no agenda and no cohort of blog friends. And guess what? I made friends and hung out with people. It’s like I was body snatched.

Yosemite on the way! (all park photos from turnouts)


The hardest part for me was the selfiebration theme. I am not much of a selfie taker and a ton of the expo booths required selfies for bonus entries or extra swag. I should have just taken foot pictures or something. Whatever. I don’t really need a year supply of vitamins.  I thought I only took photos of cupcakes and a bloody mary and then I looked at my instagram and realized I also took a photo of cocktails. And one of my feet with swag because blogger.

Surprisingly good for a hotel breakfast cocktail. They had all the garnishes COVERED.

This year the conference did show its age a tiny bit, but really that is fitting given the 10 year anniversary that this years conference celebrated. BlogHer featured a series of talks before the keynotes, a roster of speakers chosen to highlight the history of blogging as filtered through the lens of BlogHer. An interesting corollary through most of the speakers is that the BlogHer conference served as an outlet and a springboard for them to move on. I think that is key – they have moved on.

This has made me laugh for days. DAYS.  I am easily amused.


{I stopped here Sunday night and here it is Tuesday and I have completely lost my train of thought.}

You know what I think is weird about blogging conferences? They cycle through the same speakers. Mom 2.0, BlogHer. BlissDom (RIP), TypeA, I bet there are multiple speakers that spoke at who have spoken at all of them or most of them in the last three years. Ok, I checked and maybe it isn’t as bad as it feels like. Only 10 overlap between Mom2.0 2014 and BlogHer 2014, but I wish I had the time to dig through the data. I don’t know. The combination between so much reflection on the past and so many speaker repeats, there wasn’t a ton of stuff that felt fresh.

My only selfie. That I had forgotten about when I made the crack about feet above.

That said, I love, love loved the Voices of the Year this year. The standing ovations were well deserved. I laughed until I cried. I only played games on my phone during one! The Opening Keynote with the Bloggess was hilarious. The sessions were… serviceable. Geared towards new bloggers, as per usual, which is fine, but I am not one and grow bored easily. I feel like some of the speakers are experts in speaking at blog conferences and will speak on whatever for the free ticket and the resume padding even if, perhaps, it isn’t their area of expertise.

Yosemite on the way home. Made it through the park 3 hours before the fire closed the highway.

BlogHer did an excellent job cracking down on private parties this year, but didn’t beef up the conference parties to fill the void. The “late night” Friday parties (8-11 rock on) were mostly sponsored suite parties. I didn’t realize that was so literal. Crowded hotel rooms and I don’t get along. I start panicking and freaking out about fire codes and egress to the exits and they are hot and sweaty and horrible. Plus there were no conference drink tickets, yet some people had drink tickets and I heard one party had an open bar, but I got charged. A lot. For a warmish beer. Weird. I still don’t exactly know what was the deal. I missed the closing party which was from all accounts was pretty epic, so maybe all of the resources were funneled in to that one.

So smoke. Much burny. (This fire is way bigger now. I was lucky.)

I keep seeing complaints that the swag wasn’t very good. Now, I didn’t go either year that seems to be the peak of the swagness (Chicago 09 and NYC 2010), but the years I have gone, the better swag seems to be from the private parties, which were cracked down on this year so of course the swag wasn’t as good. I don’t really remember the expo being amazing. Still water bottles and full bottles of vitamins, just like this year. Plus, this year the Chuck E Cheese booth had board games which is awesome.

Getting closer to home!

All and all, I am happy that I went. It was relaxing going without an agenda and tons of plans. It gave me the ability to find a partner in crime for a few hours or for one event at a time. I spent little to no time arranging plans, arranging plans to have them canceled, sending where are you texts or waiting for people to show up. Also, for the first time ever, no one walked away from me mid-sentence when they saw someone else across the room.

Cocktail flashback!

The flipside to that is drifting through the conference like a ghost.  I exist in no group photos, left no trail of drunk-happy selfies, did very little hugging or squeeing. I never felt excluded or shut down. I never ate alone (after the conference started) and I never felt alone. BlogHer is ultimately about community and I really felt that this year.

My standard don’t know what to say line for the conference, “I live so far in the middle of nowhere that driving all the way through Yosemite is a shortcut.”

I went with free writing for this post. Who says personal blogging is dead? NOT ME. Why proofread when you can go drink a beer instead. You can tell from the post title that this recap did not go as planned. Leaving it.

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4 Responses to “How to Be a BlogHer Ghost”

  1. AJ says:

    Great post! And this — you nailed it: “BlogHer did an excellent job cracking down on private parties this year, but didn’t beef up the conference parties to fill the void.”

    I am glad I went, too, but I agree with a lot of your points!


  2. Florinda says:

    I’m glad I was able to be one of your “partners in crime for a few hours” this weekend–you were such good company! And I think we had a similar experience of BlogHer14 overall, although I didn’t pay for any drinks :-).


  3. discours says:

    Un discours de mariage rédigé en bon français, foncez!


  4. […] one of Amy’s “partners in crime for a few hours” on Friday was one of my social highlights at BlogHer, and I think our overall experience of […]

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